Tag Archives: manga

Another: Episode 1 -Beginning of the End

So… This is a part of an older project of mine that I had in mind. Besides writing reviews to an entire anime series – I wanted to watch each episode and talk about it.

I have a list of 60-something watched anime and I need to re-watch them all, and also new series and start writing about them. Details, spoilers will be presented ahead – so a friendly suggestion – do not read articles of episodes you plan to watch.

another_novel_coverAnother – an anime adaptation after a Japanese mystery horror novel by Yukito Ayatsuji, published on October 29, 2009 by Kadokawa Shoten.

The story focuses on a boy named Kōichi Sakakibara who, upon transferring into Yomiyama Middle School and meeting the curious Mei Misaki, finds himself in a mystery revolving around students and people related to his class falling victim to gruesome, senseless deaths.

A manga adaptation by Hiro Kiyohara was serialized between May 2010 and January 2012 in the issues of Kadokawa Shoten’s Young Ace. Both the novel and the manga have been licensed in North America by Yen Press. A 12-episode anime TV series produced by P.A.Works aired in Japan between January 10 and March 27, 2012, with an original video animation episode released on May 26, 2012, and a live-action film was released in Japanese theatres on August 4, 2012.

A dark, sad story, with great characters and a great soundtrack.


The first episode “Rough sketch” – “Sobyō” (素描) was released on January 10, 2012.

Following the cliches of other horror works – like Higurashi no naku koro ni – there is a disturbing story that took place in the past. Another tells the cruel fate of a girl named Misaki who was a student 26 years ago. Shorty after entering the 9th grade she died in an accident. Shocking as it may seem – the other students behaved like she was still alive – and so it was born the so called “curse” of class 3-3.

The protagonist – Kōichi Sakakibara moves to a town called Yomiyama to live with his grandparents and his aunt Reiko Mikami. Unfortunately – he gets sick and a few weeks he spends in a hospital reading horror novels and hoping to regain his health.

One of the days – some students from his school – Yomiyama North Junior High – Izumi Akazawa, Tomohiko Kazami and Yukari Sakuragi, visit him. Their first discussion brings a note of tension – which is completed by the environements depicted in the first part of the episode, cruel, dark tones, vivid colors, the state of Sakakibara and the mystery surrounding their “interview”. From the beginning you can realize that something very wrong is happening here.


Another scene that makes everything undoubtebly  strange is Sakakibara meeting Misaki Mei for the first time. She seems lost, she is very quiet and talks weird. And she loses herself like a shadow in the hospital’s basement where the morgue is.

The first day at school brings some aspects that seem odd. Class 3 is the only class that is ignored by the rest of the school. And after asking out about Misaki Mei – he finds out that others claim that they do not know what he is talking about. This aura of mystery surrounding this girl – makes Sakakibara seek her presence.

The ending of the episode gets again tensionate as Misaki tells Sakakibara that his class – their class is very different from the rest of the school – it is very closed to death.

[to be continued…]


Comic Art: Ethereal Details

I can’t say I am a big fan of comics.. besides a few chapters of The Darkness and The Walking Dead – I didn’t indulge myself into anything. And I hear there are a few titles worth anyone’s time.

Maybe I should read some. With artworks like this.. who doesn’t love spiders?

Manga Madness: Higurashi no naku koro ni – Onikakushi-hen – Chapter 2

Manga Madness will be a series of articles in which I will be reviewing the manga I read. I am not really into reading manga – I prefer watching the anime – but there are a few stories that I really enjoyed and I want to get more into these stories.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.


The second chapter of Higurashi no naku koro ni – Onikakushi-hen continues with the day of the Watanagashi festival.

Maebara Keiichi and his classmates enter a tournament of games – which apparently is held each year – as a tradition – by them – in order to win various prizes and of course to enjoy the punishment game at the end. Whoever is losing must support the punishment.

It is a fun time for the characters but also time for the truth about Hinamizawa. Keiichi finds out about the murders which happen each year on this day.

Hinamizawa has a real disturbed history. There was a dam project initialized which threatened the village with complete destruction. The locals – of course, they fought back and defeated the opposing party. But strange things began happening.

4 years ago – from the present moment, the director of the dam construction team was found dismembered. The following year a couple who supported this project fell from a cliff. The man died and the corpse of his wife was never found. The next year – on the night of the festival, the Furude Shrine priest died due to an unknown illness and his wife drowned. Ultimately – the last mystery surrounds the death of a housewife who was found beaten, lifeless on the floor of her house.

And the moment for these tragic incidents to occur has come again.

Is it a curse..? Is it something premeditated.?. Are outer forces intervening into all of these?


CG Art By Yeonsi

CG (computer graphics) refer to digital artwork that became a phenomenon that spread around the world. Starting in Japan with the release of dojinshi/manga style games – the success of this type of art was inevitable. Experienced and inexperienced computer programmers and not only fell into it’s miracle. Artists used different types of software in order to create 2D images that explain the depths of their imagination.

Yeonsi is a Korean CG artist that uses humanoid forms for his characters. There’s a sense of RPG incorporated in his works since he depicts elves, rogues, warriors, predominantly females. A sense of detail struck each of his works.

Mr. Arashi’s Amazing Freak Show Manga Perceptions

Mr. Arashi’s Amazing Freak Show was Suehiro Maruo’s first manga work to be translated into English (by Yoko Umezawa and Laura Lindgren).

As the author says in the first chapter, this is a curious story about society’s outcasts, the world’s unwanted, the weird and the unnatural. Using surrealistic tones and lots of visual elements that describe the story’s universe – Maruo introduces us to the not-your-everyday type of stories. His grotesque, wild imagination can sometimes makes you wonder if this is the kind of manga you would read. It is sadistically violent, with gross accents and at some points if offers unbearable visual depictions of human behavior.

It is a work of fiction but at times it suggests that these drawings were inspired by true events – which denotes only that reality could be more cruel than an obsessive, explicit violent artwork.

If we are talking visual art – this is a must read work – since it has a unique style attached – making every character, every creature and every action seem surprisingly real.

Recommended only if you’re looking for something quite different from what you’ve happened to read til this moment.

Manga Review: Lullabies From Hell [Part 1]

The volume “Lullabies From Hell” by Hideshi Hino has a particular occult aspect – which makes this manga confusing, irritable, disturbing but appealing to those who know to enjoy it.

“Lullabies From Hell” is a collection of shocking stories, presented in a fun and attractive way.

The first story is more like a grotesque biography, filled with details that make your skin crawl.

The young Hideshi Hino has a particular interest in dark and disturbing things. He collects different animal parts, worms, skulls – he draws shocking images and has a sick behavior. He tortures and kills animals – til he discovers that he has an unique ability.

If he wishes for people to be dying in terrible circumstances – everything becomes reality.

The styled used in this manga really surprised me. Everything is dark and evil – but the main character is ruling this universe. He comes above all the gore and shapes it like it’s the right thing to do. Continue reading

Death Of Print Media

It’s obvious that these days, print media lost its values. In Romania [where I live] newspapers began to dissapear like 2 years ago – making room for the online journalism. In Japan it’s been stated – different publications, especially manga ones started to get knocked off like..the same time as here. In the US things got well…since now.

It came to my attention that Shonen Jump will dissapear in the US by the end of April 2012 and a new online project called Shonen Jump Alpha will take its place.

The good thing from this transition is that new chapters and titles will be available almost at the same time they appear in Japan.

Of course that you will not wait months til someone will have the idea of getting the title you seek into your country. A benefit from an online business is that it reduces the work time. You pay, you get, you distribute and make money – easy as making a cup of coffee.

Among the first titles to be offered to the public are One Piece, Bleach, Naruto, Bakuman and Toriko.

The site will launch on January 30th 2012.